For the average homeowner, the HVAC tools needed to service a heating and cooling system can be mind-boggling. An experienced HVAC installer has the training to use a wide range of industry tools. Sure, knowledge and talent are important. But a technician can’t do much for you unless they have specialized, sophisticated, and expensive tools.

To help you grasp what your contractor uses on a daily basis, here is a basic HVAC tool list that demonstrates their range of capabilities:

Vacuum Pump

A vacuum pump compresses air in the system, creating a vacuum. As a result, any remaining air, gas, or water in the air conditioning system will be eliminated. By pumping moisture out, a technician can ensure your HVAC system runs at peak performance; in addition, it allows them to determine whether leaks in refrigerant lines are present before charging.

Manifold Gauges

These come in analog and digital models and are used to test an air conditioning system for leaks. A manifold gauge is useful when refrigerant is being removed or recharged. It can reveal issues that can be fixed during a service call, to ensure additional HVAC services aren’t needed in the near future.

Cordless Drill

Many HVAC components are located in tight, hard-to-reach areas. That’s why an HVAC installer needs to have a cordless drill. Commercial-grade battery-powered drills allow them to work in attics, crawl spaces, and other remote areas. Some models have built-in lights and bit sets that include Phillips, hex, arbors, and hole saws. The absence of a cord also improves safety by eliminating electrocution or tripping hazards, while extra batteries enable technicians to use the drill throughout their workday.


HVAC technicians should have a complete set of screwdrivers available to meet any HVAC need. This includes tools of different sizes and types such as Phillips, flathead, and hex. A heavy-duty screwdriver can help work with the toughest screws and bolts and pry apart vent panels. The handle of any screwdriver should be insulated to prevent electric shock. An all-in-one screwdriver helps lighten the load and saves time in a wide range of situations.

Tape Measure

A tape measure of at least 25 feet is required, as precise lengths may need to be determined over large distances. It can be used for measuring rooms to size air conditioners or run conduits or ducts. The importance of exact measurements cannot be overstated.

Refrigerant Scale

An air conditioner requires a precise amount of refrigerant, specific to the model and size. Too little refrigerant and the system won’t maintain adequate temperatures; too much and high pressures can cause damage and shorten the life of the compressor. A refrigerant scale is used to gauge how much refrigerant is going into an AC when installing or recharging it.

The tool measures the weight of the refrigerant added or removed, so can help determine if there’s a leak.


A carpenter-style hammer must be on a technician’s HVAC equipment list. A lightweight tool is best since the average HVAC installer carries around a full toolbelt. Hammers are versatile tools that are useful for a variety of tasks, from securing nails and other fasteners to pulling them out, to installing/adjusting panels and components during assembly.

Pipe Wrench

This is required for attaching or removing sections of pipe. Whether it involves securing a plumbing or gas connection, using a pipe wrench allows a technician to get the job done right. The tool is the most common tip wrench used during HVAC installation.


A pair of steel shears, preferably with insulated handles, allows for longer straight cuts. While tin snips allow for smaller cuts in different positions and directions, shears support specific tasks for completing the job right. They should always be on a technician’s list of HVAC tools and equipment.

Saw Blades

HVAC work often involves cutting through various materials, including pipes, drywall, wood, and sheet metal. High-quality reciprocating saw blades hold up during many different cutting tasks. Plus, a well-built saw model gives technicians years of trouble-free performance.


During HVAC work, it’s important to know when and where the electrical current is flowing. A multimeter detects and measures voltage around switches, outlets, and wires as well as batteries and electrical devices. It allows a contractor to take the necessary precautions to avoid electrocution. A multimeter with an illuminated digital display and that is hand-held is the most convenient.


HVAC specialists should have wire-stripping, needle-nose, open-face, channel-lock, and other types of pliers on hand. Linesman pliers and wire strippers should be available too. Like with other tools, there are insulated pliers that offer protection.

Contact Ideal Temp

A family-owned and operated company, Ideal Temp serves customers throughout Kansas City, MO, and surrounding areas. We provide high-quality HVAC maintenance, installation, and repairs. When it comes to HVAC tools, experience, and qualifications, our team is second to none and gets every job done right the first time. Call 816-720-7836 to schedule weekday or after-hours service.